All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
Today I'll be taking a look back at what I've read over September- and I actually did a lot of reading!
My Goodreads challenge tells me it was eight books, though some were short- but it was nine books if you count the one I read between the final day of September and the first day of October.
I'm going to! :)
I actually did quite a few re-reads this month. Several of them are short books and part of a series. This month I've either been continuing, or starting, those series. Others are standalones that I adore and wanted to sit through again. We have:-
Lauren Brooke- One Day You'll Know
Heartland #6- I still enjoyed it. Now I'm older, I can see some of what happens is sometimes filler stuff for the next few books- and even later ones in the series, but those things needed to be there.
Overall rating- 4 out of 5 stars.
Enid Blyton- First Term at Malory Towers
Before I knew Hogwarts existed, I always wanted to go to Malory as a kid. I've read them many times and my front covers of the first few are very creased but I care for them. The first one is wonderful in so many ways.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars.
Side note- I still want to go to Hogwarts and Malory Towers as an adult! Also, the picture below is one I found which shows all 6 covers of the versions I have, but in better condition without the creases!
J K Rowling- Chamber of Secrets
Maybe I'm being lazy, but we all know the full title! I'm still collecting the 20th anniversary editions with House colours. They're starting to look like a collection now though! :D I prefer the first book, but still love this one.
Overall rating- 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Gemma Malley- The Resistance
For me, this is the worst one of the trilogy- it's been a decade since I first read them, but I remember that. Not much happens during the first section. Very much 'science solves everything- only science'.
Overall rating- 2.5 stars.
Daphne du Maurier- Rebecca
I re-read this because I loved it the first time around last year, but also to help with the atmosphere with my newest WIP I'm writing. It's kind of got horror in it, which is WAY out of my comfort zone, but I just adore this book regardless of anything else.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars.
Joan Wolf- The Road to Avalon
This was technically also a re-read, but I can't have marked it down on Goodreads the first time AND I've had it for several years now that I just wanted to experience it all again. I've spoken many times on my blog about how much I love Arthurian legend, and this book is so different from any others versions I've read. It's wonderful. I want a TV/film adaptation one day!
See my full review here.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars.
Vic James- Bright Ruin
The final book in a trilogy I've grown to adore. There's a slight open ending, but the main threads are all dealt with. I'm just sad it's now over. This entire trilogy has been a crazy rollercoaster that I've loved even when it hurt and Bright Ruin probably hurt most of all.
These characters have all changed so much from when we met them in book 1 and I'm so proud of some of them. The Jardines all finally hate each other openly and all have their own agendas. The Hadley's have grown so much and I love that Daisy stood by Gavar and Libby for almost the entire time.
Luke and Silyen in this book were some of my favourite chapters- and I loved Silyen almost from the moment I met him, with his mystery and secret motives. :)
Abi goes through a lot of internal change in this book, given the state of Britain at the start and it's nice to see her looking outward beyond her own aspirations of being a doctor. I'm sure she'd have more open to her than that though.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars.
Finally, the two books I read at the end of the month on our family's weekend away. I haven't written proper reviews for them yet, so let's try and make some sense of my thoughts here.
V E Schwab- A Darker Shade of Magic
In the last Top Ten Tuesday post I did, I said I'd finally get to start this trilogy. I'm just mad at myself for waiting so long, even after I'd read and loved the Monsters of Verity duology.
ADSOM at the start took me a little bit to get through, while I got each London straight in my head, but the world building in each is so detailed and real, it didn't take that long. Then I just kept reading- as usually happens. I got dragged in so far, I didn't like leaving for activities I needed, like eating and sleeping.
Lila is my favourite brand of sarcasm and I can't wait to see her as a pirate on the seas (I hope that scene happens in book 2). Rhy and Kell are adorable when together and I love their family bond. Also, Kell's coat would be so useful. :) Even the villains do actual terrible things, which make them far more believable than just being talked about as evil.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars.
(Did I expect anything less. No, I didn't think so. And I'm sure I'll be reviewing book 2 in my October round up- stay tuned for that)
Sarah J Maas- Catwoman: Soulstealer
This one was my favourite behind Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Also, my paperback edition has purple edges so of course I'm thrilled by that. :)
As much as I love SJM's other books, it was nice to have one set in a more modern setting for once. I adored the trio of Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn and it's nice to see villains having fun for a change in books. Though for Selina, the good/bad line is incredibly blurred at times and I love the reasons behind that.
While there are cameos from other well-known DC characters, I'm kind of glad Bruce wasn't in this one- his story has been told in this series and it was nice to see other people could help him out. I really liked Luke's character, both as Batwing and as himself. Having the GCPD and Selina's old friends/allies (?) in the Leopards were nice elements too.
With several characters, there is a good amount of diversity in there, for various things. In the past, SJM has been criticised heavily for a lack of diversity or writing for the sake of it, which, even though she's one of my favourite authors, is annoying. However, in this book, it finally feels like it's not an afterthought or been forced.
A really good addition to the DC Icons series and I'll most likely read it again at some point.
Overall rating- 4.5 stars.
And that's it. *breathes a sigh of relief* The reading got intense especially towards the second half of September, and I'm going to assume it won't let up yet. At least it gives me more content to blog about! :D
All the best.
I'm finally catching up on some reviews and all of that. In July, I realised it would be a lot easier for to do round-ups every month of what I've been reading, so that will continue now.
So this is the August 2018 edition: a bit different because I designated August to being a Beat the Backlist month- which is where I've tried to catch up on books that have been on my TBR pile for more than a year, or ones I tried to read in previous Beat the Backlist months and didn't manage it.
This one was more successful than my March one, but not by much. Life has been pretty busy/crazy so in hindsight, my target of seven books was way too high. But anyway, it wasn't a total waste of an idea.
Here are the books I did manage to read/otherwise attempt. I even had a bit of a fantasy slump and read a brilliant contemporary that I'm still not over.
Let's start with attempts. I'd had The Diabolic on my shelf almost since it was published- maybe 3 years ago? I got it on sale at half price and it had sounded interesting, so I was hoping after all that time I would enjoy it.
Reader, I DNF'd it.
This was such a disappointment. I got to chapter ten, only about 100 pages in, and just...nothing seemed to be happening. I didn't care about the characters all that much and the world building was confusing. I felt no joy when I'd pick it up and eventually had to be put aside. Life's too short to read books you're not enjoying.
On the other hand, my attempt at reading The Disappearances went a lot better, and is a bit of a historical fiction, I think. For now, it's on hold- life got in the way and I didn't get to read this book as often as I'd have liked to keep remembering what was going on. That's happened before and I'm not too worried. I'll read the full book one day- hopefully early in 2019 whenever I do my next Beat the Backlist.
Onto the books I did get fully read. Flame in the Mist was one I had to wait for in paperback (as I usually have to these days- I'm too poor for all hardbacks) and it came with the new cover, which I like, especially with the cherry blossoms which always remind me of spring. I'm a big fan of cherry blossoms. :) I really enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn duology, so had quite high hopes for this. The members of the Black Clan were all so different, despite the amount of them- as were all the characters- and the details for the world really made it feel real. Renee Ahdieh is really good at those things in all of her books. There were a few things I didn't see coming which made the surprises actual surprises.
I did enjoy it, but towards the end, I wanted it to be over. I didn't believe in the romance at all- it didn't feel like that was what was happening. Some of the changing perspectives towards the end got a bit confusing as well. If the author's first duology is anything to go by, I enjoyed the second book more than the first, so hopefully that will happen with this one too.
Overall rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I have finally read Shadowplay!! When I tried to read it last year, I had the exact same problem I mentioned with The Disappearances. It was frustrating at the time, because I adored book 1, Pantomime and didn't want to ruin Shadowplay by forcing it.
The wait was worth it. This book picks up right where book 1 ended, throwing Micah and Drystan into an entirely different world with an old friend of Drystan's. The magic and strange things Micah feels get stronger as various things change in the world and you can't really trust anything that happens.
If I had to sum up this book in a sentence, it would be that: You can't really trust anything that happens in this book! It's great.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read the final book, Masquerade! :D
In July, I read my first book by Holly Bourne, loved it and then found out she was releasing this. It was sat on my shelf for all of August, drawing me towards it every time I looked its way. No, but really- I haven't been quiet about my mental health struggles and I know lots of people rave over the previous mental health-related books Holly Bourne has written.
This one has trigger warning for various mental illnesses talked about quite a bit, self harm, suicidal thoughts.
I admit, when Olive first gets to Camp Reset, I did worry that some of the activities were tailored to 'fix' the residents when they finished there- but I shouldn't have. Instead, the camp is all about equipping the residents to deal with the triggers of their illnesses and to cope in the outside world.
It's always weird to see a character with social anxiety and think, 'Is that how I am?', because everyone's experiences are different, of course. But the way it's written with Sophie and how she learns to cope/get better at identifying triggers, ect isn't too dissimilar to me.
On a light note, the funniest part for me is early on at camp, with Olive and the alpacas. I haven't laughed that much at a book in a while. :D
The biggest thing in this book is about kindness- starting with yourself. It's something I really needed to hear and yes, I cried. Some of the thoughts I think about myself I'd never say to anyone else, so why do I allow my brain to tell they're true about myself? Self care is something I'm really having to learn how to do lately and that saying no to things sometimes is ok for my sanity and health.
Overall rating- 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book.
That's it. Not as good of a Beat the Backlist month as I'd have liked, but I did read some books and, given my schedule, it was better than no reading at all.
In my round-up for September, I'll be discussing some newer books along with some re-reads of childhood classics I've chosen to go back to. Lots to discuss in that one! :) All the best.
Actually back, this time.
Of course, now I have several posts to get up, including my holiday one (that feels like such a long time ago!), but taking an almost two month break on the blog while I had that holiday and just worked through some stuff has been a really good thing.
So here we go- this is what ratings I gave to the three books I read on holiday and the two others I read in July.
About a week before we packed, I changed a book to The Lost Plot instead because I really wanted to read it (Just in case you somehow don't know, I have a lot of love for this series!). Also there's a nice aesthetic for me going on here with all the blue in the covers.
Anyway, my final rating for The Lost Plot was 4.5 stars. There was the usual mystery and other elements that make it distinctly a book in this series. I loved we got to see more of the dragons and another new alternate that I really enjoyed. Not sure I could have lived there, but Irene did alright for herself. Some of the political things did occasionally go over my head, but I still got the overall gist and it didn't matter too much to me. So excited to continue with book 5! :D
The Upside of Unrequited- Somewhere around a 4 or 4.5 stars I think. So much geekiness. So much diversity. The little gaps between Simon vs and Leah on the Offbeat have now been filled in because I read this one last and those moments were great revelation times and also really cute. Another great book by this author.
Shadowblack- 4.5 stars. I enjoyed the first book, but this was a definite step-up. It was just so fun! New characters, old characters, a lot of intrigue, weird creatures and definite worry for certain characters. This one ended with unanswered threads for book 3 to continue with and I'm rather excited about this.
Warcross- All the stars!! Given how I usually don't have enough money for hardbacks, I finally grabbed this when it released in paperback and I'm so glad I did. First of all, I love how the cover just reminds of the rainbow WordArt in Microsoft programs (if anyone remembers WordArt, haha) which always was my favourite.
Oh my goodness, this was amazing! The whole futuristic type vibe and the world-building was great and really made me feel part of it. Then the whole Warcross tournament and those battles between the teams were lots of fun and happily reminded me of Mario Kart racing*- I was glad to see the game of it the Phoenix Riders played together. I remember one summer holidays off school when I played Rainbow Road by myself so many times so I could get good at it- and other levels I was less good.
While I guessed who was helping Zero, I didn't get Zero's identity and never saw any of that ending coming. I don't quite know how to feel when I get to read Wildcard- because certain reasons/intentions are good ones, but the whole execution of them is terrible. But I'm excited to read it all the same. :)
*(I really need to get people together to play that game again.)
It Only Happens in the Movies- 4 stars. This was my first book by Holly Bourne. (I've since read her new book in August but that's for another post.)
Audrey's project made some really good points about love and films, despite how cynical she was. I also now have some new films to look up, both within the book and some of the author's recommendations- along with re-watching Lost in Translation again sometime soon.
I really liked most of the characters and how things progressed believably through the book. The ending was also believable and the right one, I think. After reading this and Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes, I'm definitely going to be reading more of Holly Bourne's works.
That's all the books I read in July. I'm still sticking to my new posting schedule of now only Tuesdays and Saturdays, and until I'm caught up, will be doing round-ups where film and book reviews are concerned.
In the week to come, I'll be talking about Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes- people, just go read it!- along with how I did in my 2nd Beat the Backlist assigned month, a few film reviews and my long holiday post! :)
Thanks for sticking with my hiatus. All the best.
The second and final book review of the night and then I'm all up to date before my holiday. Finally getting all organised!
Well, that was beautiful and dark and inspiring. Oh and I'll try, but there may be minor spoilers because I'm just going to gush about this book.
First off, I loved the idea of people's jobs being based on their eye colour and I've never heard of that before. I mean, it wouldn't be so good for me if I lived in Karthia because I have brown eyes...but at least I could hide in Valoria's workshop and help her invent things? Even if I might not be very good. The only other thing I'd be remotely good at, I think, would be as a beast master, because I have a degree with animals. That's sound logic. :)
I can't pick a favourite character, but I've found several new book friends. Speaking of her, I'm so glad Valoria wasn't the fantasy typical princess who expected things to be done for her just because she's a princess. No, she's an inventor who stays up way too late working, who truly cares for her family, her friends and her people. I'm possibly in love with her.
As the main character, Odessa resembled, like, an actual human being. She fights for what she thinks is right, she makes mistakes, she falls in love, she cares about people and she's amazing. Basically, I believed all these characters since they acted like real people, even the villains. The Shades were suitably terrifying and the action scenes were great.
Along with death and stuff, there was an important portion of the story that talked about addictions and how they affected a character. It wasn't glossed over and, along with other things in them, took several chapters. Karthia is also a place where people of all races and sexualities live there and are accepted. The main characters are no different. Odessa is on-the-page bisexual that is mentioned and who has healthy relationships.
It took me a while get my hands on a copy, but when I did, I became a seagull from Finding Nemo! :) Yes, I loved this book so much and am very excited for the second book, even if it is next year. The way this year is going (how is it July??), I'll be reading it before I know it!
All the best. Happy reading. :)
First of two of reviews today, a day late, but I go on holiday next week, so I'll get back to my schedule after I come back! Anyway, here we go.
That was both very intense and so much fun! Though I haven't read many of them yet, Age of Assassins reminded me of Robin Hobb's books. I'm looking forward to continuing.
However, I knocked half a star off for two reasons. Firstly, for a first book, the cast list was huge and some of the characters, particularly the young squires, sometimes became one character in my mind. This is simply a personal thing, though, so won't affect everyone. The other thing that confused me was the prologue. Half of it seemed connected to the main story as some backstory, but one of the characters never showed up after the prologue. A book 2 character maybe??
I can't not mention the mother-son bond Girton and his master had, as well as professional for their assassin jobs. Girton didn't have the best start in life, and I guess, given her job, I expected Merela to be harsh with him too or something, but she's pretty amazing overall. The other secondary characters, both good and bad, were also well rounded and felt like people.
For an epic fantasy, this was a great whodunit- or rather, who will do it? :) So much mystery, intrigue and drama, along with magic and fighting. The friendships Girton makes, despite never having that before, was great, as I really felt how nervous and conflicted he felt in that. Oh, and the animals. So many animals. And Xus, the horse belonging to Girton and his master, was rather temperamental and sometimes vicious. I loved him.
It was a relatively quick read and highly enjoyable. So yes, I will be continuing with the second book, Blood of Assassins. Hopefully I'll get it read after I come back from my holiday in time for the final book releasing next month. :)
The second and final review is one I'm very excited to discuss. This is the author's third book.
Aside from the two POV's making some of the story drag a bit near the end, I honestly can't think of anything I really disliked about the book. The first time I read Radio Silence, I read it in a handful of hours and related to it so much at the time.
Reading I Was Born For This for the first time was a similar experience. Minor spoilers to follow, though I've done my best.
As usual, there were various references I understood and loved- maybe at times it also helps being English? The instance that internet friendships are real, even though online and real life might be different was a really important topic. I loved Angel and Juliet's friendship, as well when they meet Bliss and have this really adorable trio. :)
I also kinda have a strong love for the trio that are Jimmy, Rowan and Lister, known to Angel and everyone as The Ark. The reality that they know compared to the fandom of other people was such a strong part of the story and really made me think about what it must be like, at times, for celebrities I admire, and how people can go from being anonymous one day to known all over the world the next. It also pointed out how fandom isn't everything in life something else which is an important point. Also enjoyed the Joan of Arc quotes, many of which I'd come across before.
Bonus points to Jimmy having an amazing granddad and Angel having parents who care about her. Even more for again Angel and Jimmy having a simply platonic friendship, however strange and unlikely it turned out to be.
My most favourite part of the book turned out to be how highlighted- in a positive way- the aspects of faith, mental health and sexuality are in a person. Angel is a Muslim. Jimmy is a trans, gay, Christian with severe anxiety. Other characters are also on the LGBT+ spectrum. Of course, while several things were different from my experience, I'm just going to ahead and say what an important thing this is. None of these things made the characters- they had their own personalities, but they added to who they were as people.
And as a Christian with social anxiety and depression, I just...I'm so glad this wasn't glossed over, that I felt really heard and related to Jimmy in those ways. Before I became a Christian, I always thought how Christians never had any issues and things were more or less perfect for them.
Haha, old me was so naïve!
Once again, Alice Oseman has written a fantastic book with characters I love and, at another, different stage in my life, can really relate to in many ways. As I did with Radio Silence. So all the stars to I Was Born For This. I'm very much looking forward to what book 4 brings! :D
All the best and happy reading. :)
So these two book reviews are a little late but at least they're still in the same week as I'd originally planned. :)
In this review, I will discuss my own experiences, as others have on Goodreads.
I honestly expected this one to be a rant, but managed to find some things in it I liked. See, I understood Elise's desires to fit in a lot. The first day of a new school year, getting new workbooks and having that feeling of 'This could finally be a good year' were always present- for about the first week. But I was that teenager.
The bus incidents were also something I could highly relate to- and I felt so much sympathy for Elise in those moments. But not for much else. So I'm going to continue with the positives I found first.
Vicky and Mel were great characters. I loved every scene they were in and was glad Elise had them around. Also, this book is both YA and has present parents/family in. Yes, you read that right. They care about Elise a lot and want the best for her.
In wanting to escape her school life and world, Elise finds being a DJ is something she's good at- something unique in a YA book I actually enjoyed reading about. And the song choices were ones I'd either heard of, or else now have new music to listen to. :)
I'm torn by the ending of the book. I know suspending belief sometimes is of course natural, but still. Maybe people get some kind of happy ending like that, and maybe they don't. I'm inclined to think not.
Alright, here we go. After the first two chapters, I was only reading it because of the money paid, else I think I might have just straight up thrown it away. They were so problematic for me in terms of how Elise doesn't experience everyone liking her immediately, despite her efforts to change. Something doesn't go her way, she thinks everyone will forever hate her, so she decides to take the next 'logical' step and kill herself.
I'm sorry, what??
Not only that, but she goes through several options and decides to ring someone from school after for attention and admits it. Again- what? Yes, she's been bullied for years. Yes, I can highly relate to it, but it seemed to me like Elise thought herself too highly for others and didn't really want to make friends with anyone. She certainly didn't act like it, despite the summer changes she'd tried to make. Elise's actions on the first day of the new school year do not mirror anything I ever desperately did to stop the bullies from bullying me, even when I knew it would never work.
I left school with mental health conditions I didn't have names for at that time, which only worsened at my first college until I myself thought about committing suicide. Thankfully, I had support around me- even when I didn't think I did- that pulled me out and helped me learn to cope and see my true worth wasn't in other people's opinions of me.
Being at rock bottom like that remains one of my worst days. I can't imagine what it's like to be in that place often.
So it makes and angry and upsets me when I read a book where characters like Elise just throw around mental illness like it's 'cool' and describe minor annoyances as their 'worst days ever'. I know it's different for everyone, but still. I hated those initial chapters. Rarely, do I ever use the word 'hate' to describe a book. There you have it.
I just generally couldn't stand Elise's attitude to other people. Being friends with Sally and Chava because she felt they were less than her, and just using them.
The moment she snapped at a guy she's only just met and who asked her a music question and then was all like 'don't question my music tastes.'
At one point trying to be a 'good' older sister to Alex by destroying something she had worked on so hard...Alex who is a young child. I couldn't understand any of that at all.
Elise just needs to grow up fast!
My final issue with the book was the romance, because the majority of YA books have to include it *rolls eyes* I hated the so-called romance. Char was a horrible, jealous so-and-so and I don't know why anyone would find him attractive with a personality like his.
So, there's my review. I don't think I'll be reading it again. I'm glad I could relate to some things and that parts were well done, but overall, I can't find myself to be too enthusiastic with all the problems I had with it.
I hope someone else enjoyed the book more than me. I'm genuinely happy for you in that respect.
All the best and happy reading. :)
Today I bring you my three outstanding book reviews and so decided to put them in a round-up again, because it's easier than individual posts to get lost in the void or something. So without further ado, here we go.
- A Thousand Perfect Notes
- Queens of Fennbirn
It took me a while to pick this one up, but when the 2nd one was released in small, same-sized paperback as this- and the 3rd due the same treatment releasing later this year- I knew I should get on with it. Also, due to the cover being red, when you hold the book closed, the lines of all the pages are the same. I love it when that happens. The same has happened with the 2nd book, being blue and it makes me want to read it more. :)
After the initial few chapters, I found the beginning slowed and it was one of those books where it doesn't feel like things are happening too often, but still oddly wanting to keep going? So that dropped a star.
But eventually, I found a rhythm, found I cared quite a bit about most of the characters I was supposed to and disliked those I was also supposed to. The people in this book aren't all one-dimensional either and sometimes their actions surprised me. I really felt bad for Kellen a lot of this book- as a writer, I'm fully aware of making things hard for characters and then keeping on with that. But so many times, I just wanted the guy to catch a break, you know?
It was also a pretty hilarious book at times, with my kind of sarcasm. And I enjoyed the magic system and world building that went along with it. I think Spellslinger has done some good set-up for Shadowblack, which I'll be taking on holiday next month. I was in a bit of a fantasy slump and I think choosing to read the book now- for whatever reasons- has helped me out of that. :)
I've been following Cait's blog for about three years now and the whole of book Twitter went crazy when she announced her first book was being published. Firstly, I should say that A Thousand Perfect Notes has trigger warnings for verbal and physical abuse.
In real life, that cover is even more pretty. I love the colour scheme and the close up of the butterfly wing. It in a way reminds me of those dead insects that get pinned to walls, as gruesome as that is. So I read the book all in a few hours and only stopped for food. It's a definite re-read. And speaking of food, this is a very Cait book with the food- there always had to be a cake scene and it really made me hungry.
Despite their terrible home life, Beck and Joey are such great siblings and I loved their scenes. I don't remember much about being a 5 year-old myself, but Joey is such a bundle of energy and joy. I have such a soft spot for her. Beck seems like a typical Hufflepuff, so of course I want to protect him, but at least he has August for that. Though their mother is a very detailed and complex villain, though it of course doesn't excuse any of her behaviour.
And I adore August- who got Beck to open up, who doesn't care about what others think about her, and whose family are so wonderful in stark contrast to Beck's mother. They're all so warm and open, and that's before I get to the animals. Because that part made me cry- all of these otherwise abandoned animals that get a second chance due to what August's family do for them. Maybe that's because I have a degree in animal behaviour, but I'd love to be able to do something like that or something one day. A long shot, but anyway, I digress.
It isn't all sunshine and rainbows, of course, but there are hopeful moments in there. Though I both cried and laughed through the ending, I do think it's positive after all.
Next year, Cait is releasing her second book, unrelated to A Thousand Perfect Notes, and I'm also excited for that and whatever she writes next. :)
I would definitely at least read Three Dark Crowns before the novellas, as there are a couple of spoilers in the first novella.
The Young Queens- 4.5 stars.
I loved this one, seeing the queens as sisters and friends, before they were separated due to their destiny. They were really sweet as children and it also describes their birth and a certain something that happens at the time. Reading through the scene where their guardians collected them was so heart-breaking and the aftermath of it for each queen was so different, but I suppose it came down to the families looking after them.
It was also nice to have some of the gaps filled in from big past events from the first book. The end scene with Jules finding Camden as her familiar was adorable and the time frames between things also helped. I also enjoyed what, to me, felt like tiny bits of foreshadowing for the third book of the series.
Of course, it would be nice if they could have stayed the kind of triplets who have each other's backs for life, but then, they'd be no story.
The Oracle Queen- 3.75 stars.
While I did think it got off to a slightly slow start, I loved finding out the real story behind the last ever oracle queen- because of course, legends are always just that. But Elsabet's true story is so tragic and I just wanted to take her out of the story and protect her.
It didn't come as a surprise that a certain main family line has always been crooked and out for their own ends, even all the way back in Elsabet's time.
It was really great to see how different Fennbirn was from this time into the Fennbirn we know from the island that Mirabella. Arsinoe and Katharine live in.
Overall rating for both novellas- 4 stars.
These novellas were a nice addition to the main series and I enjoyed finding out more about the world of Fennbirn. It was also nice to be back in the world, even for a short time because I'm really excited for Two Dark Reigns when it's released. :)
And that's all for today. All the best and happy reading.
When Daughter of the Burning City came out last year, the debut novel by Amanda Foody, it was everywhere. As with a lot of YA books that come into the UK, I had to wait a bit longer and finally got around to it late last year.
I really enjoyed it and highly anticipated Ace of Shades being released. Well...I enjoyed it more, and think I've found one of my favourite reads for this year! Pre-warning: Now I'm going to gush. A lot.
As usual, I'll do my best to keep this review spoiler free (and trying really hard because it's amazing! Go read the book!) so I'm going to have to choose my words very carefully. I also don't usually add GIFs in my book reviews but feel this needed it in places. :)
The first thing I have to point out is Ace of Shades has been compared to Six of Crows- a personal favourite duology of mine, as I've made no secret of. I get why this comparison has been made, but I think their similarities are limited. I see them as two very different, very enjoyable books.
First up, I loved the details about all the different gangs and none of them felt less dangerous than others or like they were just an excess of people. I really don't think I'd survive long in New Reynes, but hey, I say that about most worlds I read about. But the descriptions of, well, everything were so detailed and rich that I could definitely see it while reading.
Oh and there's a map! I love it when books have maps. And the City of Sin guidebook stuff at the start of each day were really fun too.
Now, the characters. Enne's transformation from prim and proper, finishing school girl to managing to adapt to life in the City of Sin was so much fun. I feel like some of her reactions early on would definitely be mine, but I guess you've got to blend in to these kind of situations to survive, right? And the way Enne managed to inject her own choices into situations where she had none- and basically turned into a badass- where so much fun to read about.
Levi is smart and sarcastic and fun and way too precious to live where he does. (Why do I say that about half the characters I meet in books??) Sure, he has power in some ways, but seeing him really struggle at times under the weight of that and the bad side of it isn't something I've come across much before. It made Levi seem way more human.
Other favourites definitely include Lola and Jac. I never knew what to make of Lola and all my assumptions about her, I think, were wrong. Mostly. She's great. I also want her and Jac to be my friends. (Again, I need to stop collecting imaginary book friends wherever I go!)
Also concerning Jac, re-read the second half of the first sentence I wrote about Levi and there you have it. Though part of that is because I see some of me in Jac. He totally seems like the natural choice for Hufflepuff, so that's obviously why we'd get on so well! :)
Dare I say it, I also like Vianca. Yes, he's dangerous and very scary, and no, I wouldn't want to be trapped in her office alone with her for a moment, but I like her. I'm thinking of her good points too, but honestly, I did enjoy the nervousness I felt when she was around and the magic she possesses, even if it's a horrible thing.
Yes, in real life, I'm a pretty typical Hufflepuff- but I'm sure, when it comes to reading and my own writing about the 'evil' characters, I'm just a Slytherin hiding in Hufflepuff clothing.
Actual footage of people's reactions when I tell them this
I'm joking. But I do enjoy well written villains- they're supposed to make you squirm and feel scared and all that. Vianca certainly does for me.
Overall, I highly enjoyed my time in New Reynes and it was worth all the extra waiting. Ace of Shades deserves all the stars and I am excited to go back when the second book, King of Fools, comes out next year. Until then...
All the best and happy reading. :)
I was supposed to do this last week, oops. But it's here now and it means I'm all up to date on book reviews for what I've read.
Since I saw the film, I was excited to read the book as well. I can see a potential reason why the film was only called 'Love, Simon' though. I'm not sure the book's title would leave much room on the title card announcing the film. :D
Regardless of titles, I did also really enjoy the book. I'm not sure which I preferred because, naturally, there are always going to be changes to a film- and some noticeable ones. However, both forms are still important. I may refer back to the film a bit- one of the drawbacks of not reading the book first, I guess.
I also feel like the last person to read this book, so hey! I made it at last. :)
What I liked-
Most of what I wrote in the film review and liked was in the book first, so yay. I also liked that Simon had a big sister too who was just as supportive. I'm an only child, but I of course get how important that is, having friends who might as well be family too.
Oh, and the opening scene with Martin dropped me into the middle of things, which surprised me, but made it all the more thrilling and scary for Simon to have to go through. The reveal at the end as to who Blue was- I loved it in the book too! It was so sweet and I caught myself grinning a lot in many places in the book. No surprise from my laugh a lot/cry more reaction to the film. :D
I enjoyed seeing more of the background of Simon's drama group/class. And the emails between him and Blue were great. Ugh, I'm getting feels and all squishy inside thinking about those two!
What I didn't like-
The treatment of Abby at times from many of the characters. It just seemed off, it's not her fault she's newer. And a few of the male characters got confused in my head at times, when Simon is wondering who Blue is. I don't know- I think that's just me. But I can't help that.
So yes, I've finally read the book too and loved it. A very well deserved 4 stars and I'm really excited to read Leah on the Offbeat next. Oh, and The Upside of Unrequited of course, which is set in the same world. :)
What are your thoughts on this book? The film? Which did you prefer?
All the best and happy reading.